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Frequently Asked Questions -- Civil Early Intervention Conference Program

What is a civil early intervention conference (Civil EIC)?

An innovative approach to identifying certain civil case types for early court intervention.  Case types CH, CK, and CZ will be scheduled approximately 100 days after the date of filing for a 30-minute session. During these nonbinding sessions a sole facilitator will help the parties identify key issues and determine the most appropriate method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle the case.   Any suggested amendments to the scheduling order would be discussed before being submitted (by the parties) to the assigned judge for approval and signature.

When will Civil EICs occur?

Each of the ten participating judges have selected one week every four months during which their cases will be scheduled.  In most instances cases are scheduled in the morning beginning at 8:30.

What judges are participating in the Civil EIC Program?

Judges Goldsmith, N. Grant, Kumar, Langford-Morris, McDonald, Mester, Nichols, C. O’Brien, Sosnick, and Warren are participating in the facilitator directed program. 

If my case has not been case evaluated are we still required to participate?

Yes, cases are identified and scheduled before case evaluation.

Who are the facilitators?

The facilitators will be attorneys (and retired judges) who have been invited to participate, have volunteered their time and have participated in an orientation on mediation skills and program expectations.

What is expected during the early intervention process?

The early intervention process will consist of the following steps:
  • Opening Statement by the Facilitator: The facilitator will explain the process, his or her role, the use of joint and separate sessions, confidentiality, and make disclosures relative to personal or professional relationships.
  • Opening Statement by the Parties: Each party will have an opportunity to briefly present its key issues.  There is no need for either party to present evidence or documentation of any kind.  Remember:  You are trying to identify key issues and prepare a plan for settlement!
  • Joint Sessions: Joint sessions will be used to ask questions, identify issues, and agree on a form of alternative dispute resolution.
  • Separate Sessions: The facilitator may decide to talk with the parties privately, in caucus or in a separate session.  The purpose of the separate session is to explore possible options that the parties may be reluctant to discuss directly with the other side.  The parties may instruct the facilitator if a specific issue or information is to remain confidential.  The facilitator is bound not to release the information given in confidence.
  • Agreements:  If a settlement agreement is reached, the facilitator will convene both sides to review the primary elements of the agreement.  The agreement will be reduced to writing and entered into the record.  Judges will be available to place settlements on the record.

How long will each case take?

The early intervention process will consist of the following steps:
  • Opening Statement by the Facilitator: The facilitator will explain the process, his or her role, the use of joint and separate sessions, confidentiality, and make disclosures relative to personal or professional relationships.
  • Opening Statement by the Parties: Each party will have an opportunity to briefly present its key issues.  There is no need for either party to present evidence or documentation of any kind.  Remember:  You are trying to identify key issues and prepare a plan for settlement!
  • Joint Sessions: Joint sessions will be used to ask questions, identify issues, and agree on a form of alternative dispute resolution.
  • Separate Sessions: The facilitator may decide to talk with the parties privately, in caucus or in a separate session.  The purpose of the separate session is to explore possible options that the parties may be reluctant to discuss directly with the other side.  The parties may instruct the facilitator if a specific issue or information is to remain confidential.  The facilitator is bound not to release the information given in confidence.
  • Agreements:  If a settlement agreement is reached, the facilitator will convene both sides to review the primary elements of the agreement.  The agreement will be reduced to writing and entered into the record.  Judges will be available to place settlements on the record.

What impact will the Civil EIC have if we have to take the case to trial later?

The items discussed during an early intervention conference are treated as confidential matters and cannot be admitted as evidence in a trial.

Is my client required to attend the Civil EIC?

Yes, your client and persons with authority to settle must attend if they are local. 

How should I prepare for the Civil EIC?

Confirm your key issues and what you feel the other side needs to know.  The optimum method of preparation is to discuss court procedures, ADR, and costs with your client. You and your client must be present for the Civil EIC.

Am I required to file a statement?

No, since this process is early in the case, no statement is required.  Facilitators will be given a copy of information filed with the court.

How will motions to be excluded from the Civil EIC process be handled?

Participation in the Civil EIC is mandatory.  Motions to be excluded from the process will be heard by the originally assigned judge.  Motion praecipes should be filed.

What happens if my case settles?

Settlements made after this notice shall be in writing, signed by the attorneys and their clients; and submitted to the court on or before the date of your scheduled Civil EIC.  Settlement documents may be faxed to 248-858-9573 or delivered to the Case Management Office.  For those cases that have settled but have not submitted documents in writing, clients and attorneys must appear at their scheduled Civil EIC time to place the settlement on the record.  Please report to your assigned judges courtroom 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time.  Stipulated Orders of Dismissal may be submitted at any time prior to your scheduled date.

When will I be advised which facilitator is assigned to my case?

You will be advised which facilitator has been assigned to conduct your Civil EIC when you check in on the assigned date and time.  Check in will be conducted at the assigned judges chambers 15 minutes prior to your assigned time.

Will sanctions be assessed for failure to appear for the Civil EIC?

Any sanctions will be at the discretion of the assigned judge.

Who do I contact if I have questions concerning this process?

You should contact the Case Management Office at 248-858-0352.